It’s time to start prepping the soil for your raised beds and gardens. How many of you are already buying potatoes, dahlias, and herbs? Our staff has been busy fielding questions from customers and the most popular one yet is what’s important when purchasing soil and fertilizer? Where do I start? Here are some topsoil and fertilizer tips to get you started.
“The composition of your soil’s organic matter is a combination of living, decaying, and dead plants and animals. Living organisms include bacteria, worms, fungi, plant roots, etc…As these elements decay, they eventually become humus—the nutrient-rich matter that nourishes the soil.”
Remember that soils with poor drainage can leave the area saturated. Make sure where you’re planting and adding soil is in a good location! Some folks will also check the pH of their soil so consider investing in a pH ‘test’ kit as some plants require certain ranges to grow well.
We’ve compiled a list of the top tips for getting started:
Three topsoil and fertilizer tips for anyone with a green thumb this spring!
Cut existing grass at your mower’s lowest setting.
To smother roots, spread a layer of newspaper about 12 sheets thick. You can use cardboard or newspapers to help keep grass and weeds from growing back. The staff will give you some if you need it!
Spread eight to twelve inches of organic matter (well-rotted manure, compost or a mix of compost and shredded leaves) over the layers of newspaper. Or use triple mix — a mixture of loam, manure, and peat — Rake level. Start tilling it all in!
We use slow-release fertilizers. They are a safe and easy way to feed your plants. “The slow release coating means the nutrients are broken down over time so the plant won’t get burned. This type of fertilizer works because the granules only break down with water and heat. As you water and as your garden soil warms up, your garden plants grow faster, just in time to absorb the fertilizer as it’s released into the soil.”
Avoid prepping soil when it’s too wet! if you clump it together in your hands and moisture pours out it’s too wet. Aim to work when there is some moisture in the soil but it still crumbles in your hand.
Here in the Pacific Northwest, we’ll have some idea days for prep but you may have to wait until some of the moisture drys out!
The pet food industry continues to follow the latest trends and hopes to influence pet parents to buy certain brands. There have been so many food recalls over the past few years it’s now more important than ever to stay on top of what your dogs eat!
What about raw diets for dogs?
The staff here at Fang! Pet & Garden Supply did some research on the benefits of raw diets for dogs. This diet is still controversial and many vets aren’t yet on board but a lot of pet parents are big fans and our staff recommends raw diets to many of our customers.
Some things you should look for? Research the brand, ingredients, AAFCO statement and the guaranteed analysis. Whole Dog Journal talks more about this in their article about freeze-dried raw diets. Our staff always researches the sourcing (where are they getting the meat from) to make sure it’s biologically appropriate and that’s it’s completely balanced before choosing a brand.
Determine how your dog’s digestion is generally speaking before transitioning to a raw diet. Do you know if they have any allergies that should be avoided or proteins your dog does better on? Speak to your vet as well and always transition to a raw diet from kibble by mixing it with the regular food and increasing it over time (5-10 days). Your dog should be able to make a gradual transition without any digestive issues. Also, watch your animal’s stools to determine if they’re loose or if your pet is uncomfortable.
A raw diet typically consists of organ meats, muscle meat, whole or ground bone, raw eggs, fresh fruits and vegetables, and some dairy, such as yogurt.
Here are four benefits based on research and personal experience.
1. Shinier coats
Shiny healthy coats is a major benefit of feeding raw diets. Thanks to those omega fatty acids!
Raw diets are known to help strengthen the immune system. So nutrition plays a big part in healthier skin and coats. These omega fatty acids help keep inflammation down which keeps itchy skin from occurring.
2. Improved dental health
Feeding a raw diet to your dog prevents dental disease which is the cause of everything else (e.g. heart disease).
3. Increased energy
Some experts say their dogs have better concentration with commands and less hyperactive yet more energy. This is a reason many breeds benefit from this diet. Mealtime is the best time of the day!
4. Smaller, firmer stools
Smaller stools are not a myth. You’ll be stunned after feeding raw at how small the stool was after a few days. And in addition to smaller stools, they are less pungent smelling and typically much firmer than stools you’ll see on a kibble based diet.
Should you add supplements?
Yes! Ask our staff about raw goats milk or Kifer, Konagen along Green Juju and bone broth.
Konagen- Locally-made collagen broth that can ease the joint pain/inflammation and increase mobility in senior pets! Cats too.
Juju – Staff often match this supplement to folks reporting that their dogs love to snack on fresh green grass. A healthy way to fill the tummy at meal time or between meals for extra hungry dogs.
Goats milk – This is digestion support for all! Also a great way to add some calories for underweight fur friends.
Always come and talk to us about your dog’s nutritional needs so we can help you decide which raw food diet and protein makes the most sense for your dog. Nothing is more important than your dog’s health!
Disclaimer: Please consult your vet before making any drastic dietary changes to your pet’s diet. Our staff are not vets or holistic vets.
For the 6th year in a row, you can donate dog supplies at Fang! Pet & Garden Supply (and our sister stores) for seniors. The store is a donation site for Jake n’ Max’s Boxes of Love and the decorated boxes are filling up!
This event is a tribute to the unwavering love of two beloved senior dogs and the drive collects donations of everything from cozy comforts for seniors, supplements for older guys, toys and any item that can brighten the lives of sweet adoptable animals at Animal Aid that need a little extra help and love. Animal Aid’s heartstring animals are featured in this campaign.
The campaign runs through Feb. 14 and you can donate dog supplies anytime! In year’s past, we’ve delivered nearly a carload from each store with donations of beds, food, treats, and supplies thanks to our generous customers!
This is also a very special event as we’re remembering our friend and colleague Vonnie Harris, the mastermind, behind Jake n’ Max’s Boxes. Vonnie passed away in 2018 and we miss her. A tribute was written last October.
“Vonnie Harris and her sister Viki created Jake ‘n Max’s Boxes of Love as a tribute to their beloved Labs, Jake and Max. The pair worked tirelessly to help “oldsters” by collecting gear and goods for senior pets each year. The project required finding partner businesses to serve as donation sites, decorating large boxes to contain donations (in later years the pair invited local seniors to participate in this), collecting and finally delivering donated goods to the beneficiaries — rescues serving senior pets.
We carry on Jake ‘n Max’s Boxes of Love out of gratitude for Vonnie and Viki’s care and service, and to honor Vonnie, who passed peacefully October 29.
For the love of senior pets . . . for the love of uplifting others . . . for the love of Vonnie.”
All three stores offered an opportunity to have memorable pet photos taken with Santa in December and the donations benefitted The Pongo Fund. We want to update folks on our donation!
Thank you all for coming out. Thanks to you, we’ve raised over $6,000 for The Pongo Fund. Here at Fang! Pet & Garden Supply we raised $2,662. Overall across all three stores, we snapped pics with 140 animals including a few cats and a chicken.
Thank you also to all our vendors that donated product for our wonderful goodie bags that we sent home with all those that participated.
“First off we would like to thank our friends at Ginger Beds for once again donating 3 of their beds to our raffle. Ginger Bed’s are locally made and we loving having them at our stores.”
As a reminder, The Pongo Fund is Oregon’s only full-time charity focused on fighting animal hunger. They work tirelessly to reduce shelter populations and keep families together by providing emergency pet food assistance to anyone in honest need.
The donations went to help The Pongo Fund’s Mobile Animal Hospital that provides free lifesaving care for hundreds of animals each year thanks to a network of dedicated veterinarians and medical professionals. And of course, the donations will also help the community overall.
Go behind the scenes with us! This is from our Salty’s Pet Supply shoot.
Please leave a comment about the reaction you got when you posted your cute pic! Thank you for coming out!
Just getting our pictures w/Santa event kicked off! Please join us and Santa!
Master gardeners will tell you that as your houseplant grows larger and the roots begin to grow through the drainage holes, repotting the plant into a larger pot will become necessary.
In addition, pests (gross!), diseases, and mold often infiltrate the soil of a potted plant. To prevent further damage or a recurrence of the problem, get rid of the old soil!
This post is another Q&A with one of ourexperts and nursery department head. if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to stop in and ask our staff about up-potting!
A Q&A with Granville Goff, Nursery Department Head, Fang! Pet & Garden Supply
What is Up Potting?
Up potting is what we do when a plant has become root-bound in its current home. This means that the plant has cycled through several growth periods and has “outgrown” its current home.
Indications: When you water, it runs immediately through (not enough soil for retention). Yellowing leaves that don’t respond to adjusted watering or fertilization,Visually if you can see the roots coiling (worth popping the plant out of the current pot to examine), If the plant looks too big for the size pot it is in(remember everything you see above the soil has relatively equal mass below the soil [roots]).
You will need a new pot, fresh potting soil (an appropriate blend for the type of plant), a watering can (with a narrow spout), materials for drainage if the pot has no drainage holes, a rubber mallet for jostling loose especially stuck plants.
Important stepsfor repotting a plant
In many cases, you can simply take the pot and tap it against a work surface in along the circumference and the root mass will “let go” of the pot walls.
Other times you may need to cut a plant free from a plastic stock pot or tap the bottom and sides of a pot with a rubber mallet to loosen the plant.
I would not recommend placing a coffee filter in the bottom of a pot since it is designed to absorb water and will begin to decompose increasing bacterial growth in the root zone which is a recipe for root rot and ultimately plant death.